January 28, 2003

Men finish eighth, women sixth at Whitewater Invitational Meet

On Super Bowl weekends, with all the talk of bowls of dip, beer and football, and commercials, both good and bad, one can often forget that there are some out there (oh, those precious few) competing in a real sport with real events and even realer beer that is often drunk afterwards, but only by some. These people are those of the University's track and field teams. They competed on Saturday. This article is about them, and has nothing to do with football whatsoever.

Both the men's and the women's team traveled to Whitewater, Wisconsin to compete in the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's Warhawk Invitation. And both teams faired quite well against the cheese-hardened Wisconsin teams of the Division III sporting powerhouse that is the UW system; the men finishing eighth of twelve teams, with the women faring even better, finishing sixth of thirteen.

The men's Distance Medley Relay team of fourth-year Tim Tuff, first-year Jake Lee, second-year James Mestichelli, and first-year Teage O'Conner opened the meet for the Maroons, taking third place in the day's first event with a time of 10:47.93.

Third-year Adeoye Mabogunje led the scoring for the men, winning the triple jump with a distance of 14.12 meters. With the mark, Mabogunje, already a national qualifier in the high jump, earned an additional place at the Division III National Championships in the triple jump.

Also in top form was third-year middle distance runner Patrick Sullivan. Sullivan placed second in the 3000-meter run with a time of 8:31.22 after closing furiously on UW-Oshkosh senior Matt Groose, who had taken an enormous early lead only to see it quickly dwindle in the face of Sullivan's efforts. Groose was saved only by the tape, as he held on to win by a paltry three seconds in 8:28.16.

Third-year Tom Haxton placed fourth in the men's mile with a time of 4.22.82, and was followed by third-year Karl Striepe, who placed eighth in 4:31.95. Second-year Brandon Halcott and fourth-year Ryan Raimo proved a second scoring duo in the 200-meter dash with Halcott placing fourth in 23.66 and Raimo sixth with a time of 23.72.

In the women's competition, the Maroons were once again lead by third-year Valerie Anderson and fourth-year Diane Valos in the field events. Anderson, who qualified for the Division III National Championships a week ago in the weight throw, won the shot put competition with an effort 14.11 meters. Valos placed second in the pole vault competition, clearing a height of 2.92 meters.

Also in the field events, second-year Karin Hong finished an impressive eighth in the triple-jump competition with a distance of 10.22 meters.

In the women's mile, the Maroons boasted two strong finishes in the forms of fourth-year Clarisse Mesa and first-year Jessica Winter. Mesa finished second in the event with a time of 5:18.14, and was followed by Winter in fourth place with a time of 5:26.39.

First-year Annie Sanders, a Wisconsin native, also came through with an impressive performance, finishing fourth in the 3000-meter run with a time of 11:05.44.

Jelena Pantel led the way in the sprinting events, placing seventh in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:02.87 and then sixth in the 200-meter dash in 27.88. First-year Gabby Jones finished fourth in the 200-meter dash in 27.71. And the women's 4x400 team of Pantel, Jones, Mesa, and Winter placed sixth in 4:17.44.

The Maroons will continue their tour of Wisconsin next week as they travel to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh for the UW-Oshkosh Open. The Culver's butter-burgers will fly!